I've been wanting spears to move round bales with and commercial ones are available, but with shipping costs I thought I could DIY a set. Plus I like to do these kinda projects. I bought the spears and bushings from All States Ag Parts and had some 4" angle on hand. Here's a few pics of where I am so far. I need to get some 3" x 3/8" bar to finish it off.
I'm going to use load binders to secure the chains that go around the bucket.
I reinforced the bracket and laid on cap welds. I picked up a round bale and I think this version will work. I learned that technique in lifting those bales is a big part of it too. Tight bales are a must - this one is getting a little tired from me poking at it.
I don't move with bales raised anymore than I have to stack/unstack. I'm thinking about changing from small squares for the horses to rounds. That means I'd have to stack them in the hay barn 2-high. I'm not completely sold on this yet. Rounds may just be for roping steers where I have space and don't have to stack.
I don't like having anyone around (dog included) when I'm moving those because of safety. The 2440 feels solid /stable but the CG goes way up I know...not good.
The amount they consume depends on the weather. They've had the current bale for 15 days and about half of it is still there. If we get snow this week I suspect they will finish the remaining half by this weekend. They're on pasture, so if they can get to fresh grass they usually opt for that. I have one TB/ Paint mix that gets 3# of 9% fat, 12% protein twice a day.
The ranch puts up grass hay, so I can get it for just production cost for our horses. I put out the first bale in mid November and the one they have out there now is the 8th bale of the winter. I'll have to check my notes on that but that should be right. There is some loss with my method, they scatter hay around the feeder and sleep in it and I usually set a new bale when the one they're on is down to just a few inches left. I'll swap them before that if there's bad weather moving in. I'm probably seeing 2-5% loss if I had to make a rough estimate.